Today I’m grateful for Alan Rickman.
When I heard of his death yesterday I was deeply shocked and saddened. So soon after the loss of Bowie, Alan Rickman’s death seemed unreal. When the person I was catching up with received a text from one of her friends telling her the news, I had to Google it to check that it was true. It’s criminal that cancer has stolen away yet another brilliant human being from our midst. The eloquent tributes that have been paid to him by the likes of Emma Thompson and Ian Mckellen give an insight into what it was like to know him as a friend, not just for the remarkable actor that he was.
For me, a Harry Potter fan to the very core, I mostly associate him with his portrayal of Severus Snape. As a book lover and as someone who read the Harry Potter books by torchlight way past bedtime, because there was just no chance I was stopping before XYZ had happened, the films were in some ways an anticlimax. The adult actors – Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes… the list goes on and on – were terrific! But sadly, try as I might, I have never been able to truly warm to Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson as Harry and Hermione.
That aside (and I must move off the topic that would be my Mastermind specialist subject) Rickman as Snape was always a match made it heaven. As soon as I saw him I immediately felt that connection and the same distaste for the character that I had felt while reading the books. As he swept into Harry’s potion class in the first film, face set in that unsmiling picture of indifference and stated, “There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class…”, I was immediately captivated. He had such a wonderful way of speaking. The manner in which he weighed each word, ensured that every syllable belonged to the character and fitted the atmosphere of the scene, was surely one of his most famous traits.
In Die Hard he played the villainous Hans Gruber, and that shot of him falling to his death is the first image that springs to my mind when ‘Alan Rickman’ and ‘Die Hard’ are used in the same sentence. In Love Actually he plays Emma Thompson’s husband, Harry, who’s wandering eye causes her understandable anxiety and unhappiness. Yet, we still find him likeable.
Truly, Madly, Deeply was a film that, up until a few years ago, I was totally ignorant of. It tells the tale of an interpreter, Nina (Juliet Stevenson) who is grieving the loss of her boyfriend Jamie (Alan Rickman), a ‘cellist. It takes a surprising twist when Jamie reappears as a ghost, helping her to realise that she must find a way to move past her loss. Although initially overjoyed to have him back, Nina gradually finds ghost-Jamie infuriating through a series of quirky behaviours and realises that the situation can’t continue. It’s a beautifully made and artfully executed tale, showing Rickman’s more tender and comic side.
Obviously, my choices are a tiny snippet of Rickman’s fabulous career. There are so many more films that he’s been involved with, and that’s without even considering his theatrical work… My photo for the day includes one of my partner’s t-shirts, showing a much younger Alan in his role as Hamlet.
I shall leave you with one of his more thought provoking quotes:
The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible. Or, what’s impossible? What’s a fantasy?
Thank you, Alan. ❤ Your light shall never be extinguished.